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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all


I'm looking to raise awareness of the amount of deaths and serious injuries involving Fiat 500 in the UK. It is a big problem and DVSA are not interested neither are Fiat UK.

My 19 year old daughter was killed in a fiat 500s last January. She lost control on a bend with mud all over the road and no warning signs were out. It was a 60 mph road in a rural area of leicetershire. She corected the skid twice ok but then hit a dip in thre road that threw her car into the path of a small high fronted Citroen Nemo van. The impact combined was over 100 mph. I had fitted dash cameras front and rear and now have the footage after the inquest. The impact on the passenger side destroyed the car and roof line was cut in half. No passenger in the car just my daughter and her side curtain and seatbelt pretensioner failed to deploy resulting in fatal head injuries by hitting the side window and B pillar. The car was hit at 50mph and went in the air doing a 180 into the trees. I would have expected her side curtain and seatbelt pretensioner to have fired but from the police report it says it did not. What did fire was the passenger side curtain airbag and seat belt pretensioner even though the ECU knew nobody was in the passenger seat.ECU knew driver seat was occupied and seat belt fastened. I have seen reports of FCA having recalls for wrong airbags deploying in a crash and faults with the seat belt pretensioners.


Can anyone advise me if you have experience of this issue with a Fiat 500


Thanks In Advance
 

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Very very sorry for the loss of your daughter. I have no idea why the side air bags, didn’t fire. Your daughter 500 is a European model. Safety requirements here in North America are much different then yours. Was there a full investigation of why the side Curtain airbags didn’t fire off. Was FCA contacted? I’ve never heard of that issue here. I’ve owned my 500 for 9 years.
 

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No there was not. The police just asked Fiat in Italy if the safety systems performed as expected. They said yes they did, but I am not buying into this answer. Dozens of fatal crashes involving Fiat 500 in the last 2 years in the news in the UK. Fiat and DVSA need to warn anyone who has a Fiat 500 its lethal in a side impact crash. This needs media coverage
 

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We have a safety bureau here in North America. That we can report safety issues to. Do you have a European board you can contact? Input issues on line. You can look at, and see if any other 500’s. That have the same airbag issue. The Safety,issues here get compiled, where the automotive manufacturers see. This helps for them to issue safety recalls on vehicles.

This is ours in NA......

 

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Ever airbag in that car should have fired off. The impact tore the door, off it hinges. The lower rocker is torn. That car rip up like tin foil. Really sad!

 

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I knew a guy who lived though his smart car accident like this. He’s been though numerous leg operations the last three years. Learning how to walk. I took my 20 year old daughters smart car away from her. After he’s terrible accident. Really surprise he lived through it. smart cars are suppose to be really safe. It did save his life.

109053
 

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In the 500e (I believe other models as well) software, when the rear bulb is blown, the dash indicates the opposite side. It's probably a coding blunder with "the other left".

I would not be surprised, if there are more "bugs" like that. If the airbag management system has sides mixed up, this is exactly what would have happened.

If you will sue FCA, try to explore this path.
 

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Fiat 500s are MUCH more common in the UK so naturally there are going to be a lot more accidents reported than in the US.

Looking at the damage on that car, it was hit extremely hard. I don't think the odds are great being hit that hard in any car, however if the side airbag didn't fire being hit that hard, then definitely that could be a contributing factor. You need a good lawyer, not a bunch of people on a forum.
 

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Well, the Airbag DID fire. It fired on the IMPACT side.

The question is: why didn't the Opposite side Airbag fire?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Apparently to save the insurance companies money having to replace them all. Was told this by the collision investigation police team .
 

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Apparently to save the insurance companies money having to replace them all. Was told this by the collision investigation police team .
More to it than that. Airbags can cause injury, so they only fire if absolutely necessary. It's a calculation of speed forces that are more likely to cause injury than not. For example, a small child may be in the seat. You don't want the airbag to go off in that case, as they should be in a child seat. It uses weight sensors and therefore doesn't fire the bag under a certain weight. Or if someone is in the seat, but the forces are lateral (from the side) you don't want to blow the forward airbag as it won't help protect them.

As far as the cost issue, it's more about the car being totalled than "saving money". People get really upset if their car is totalled from a minor fender bender because it blew every airbag. So now they only fire the ones necessary.

Now, firing the WRONG side still sounds like a programming error. But only firing the one where there is an occupant has very good reasons to be the case.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Nobody was in the passenger seat. The side curtain airbag and seat belt pretensior fired and protected no-one. Clear evidence of a programming fault in the airbag control module computer.
 

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An alarming number of death's In the UK as a result of this. But it's being hidden from the public as the fiat 500 is there best seller in the UK. All young girls want one as soon as they've passed their driving test.
 

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In the 500e (I believe other models as well) software, when the rear bulb is blown, the dash indicates the opposite side. It's probably a coding blunder with "the other left".

I would not be surprised, if there are more "bugs" like that. If the airbag management system has sides mixed up, this is exactly what would have happened.

If you will sue FCA, try to explore this path.
Just what I was thinking! Sounds like left - right confusion. These cars have a very good side impact safety rating but, with this level of damage... Regardless, the airbags clearly didn't do what they are supposed to do and who can say what the results may have been if they had. So sorry to hear about The Captains daughter, I hope he tears Chrysler/Fiat a new one.
 

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Just what I was thinking! Sounds like left - right confusion. These cars have a very good side impact safety rating but, with this level of damage... Regardless, the airbags clearly didn't do what they are supposed to do and who can say what the results may have been if they had. So sorry to hear about The Captains daughter, I hope he tears Chrysler/Fiat a new one.
I'm wondering if we should all take a tail light out and see if our cars know which side is which. If they guess wrong, I'm thinking a trip to the dealer to see if they can figure out how to confirm the thing knows which airbag is which.
 

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I'm wondering if we should all take a tail light out and see if our cars know which side is which. If they guess wrong, I'm thinking a trip to the dealer to see if they can figure out how to confirm the thing knows which airbag is which.
That would be irrelevant since it would be different sections of code. And it would be seen much more frequently so people would find it.
 

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That would be irrelevant since it would be different sections of code. And it would be seen much more frequently so people would find it.
True but, at the factory where the entire car's software package is loaded into the controller(s) before installation in the vehicles, I would guess they have a left and a right software package and obviously a right and left wiring harness. Mix those up and you would see left - right issues throughout. If left - right tail light issues exist, and evidence indicates they do, people may find it but ignore it or think nothing of it.
If left - right airbag issues exist, I'm confident that most don't have that problem, otherwise, people would find it. But if it happened at the factory for a day or a week, you would only see it on a small percentage of cars. And the tail light thing may indicate the issue.
Other brands of cars I've worked on have the software name and revision level on the controllers. If someone with far more knowledge than me, knows which airbag controller software name and revision level belongs on which cars, a simple visual check may save a life.
 
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